It took a lot of concentration to read this book. Not because of it's depth and sometimes convoluted satire but because of the Russian names. Tolstoy takes me forever to read for the same reason. Once I could differentiate characters I found this far more enjoyable.Faust meets Tolstoy? Maybe but it's far more than that and there's real humour. Something I really thought would we lacking. I found it more like Marlowe's Dr. Faustus meets a lighter hearted Tolstoy.This is going on a reread list because even though I really liked it I want to see if I view any of it differently at a different time in my life.